Overcoming the Limits with Nano Science and Technology
The prefix “nano” in nanoscience (NS) and nanotechnology (NT) means nanometers (one nanometer is one-billionth of a meter). Hence, NS and NT are science and technology defined by size. NS is a field of study aiming at fundamental understanding of phenomena and properties of materials at the nanoscale, which is typically less than 100 nanometers. And NT deals with applications of NS, to dramatically enhance the performance of existing devices and systems, or to create novel functionalities. From these definitions of NS and NT, we immediately see that NS and NT are not limited to a specific discipline in science and technology. Rather, they encompass a wide range of traditional academic disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, electrical engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, and so on.
This characteristic of NS and NT presents us with both promise and challenge. NS and NT are capable of overcoming limitations of current science and technology, and in the course of their development, they will continue to greatly improve the ways we obtain and process information, diagnose and treat diseases, and deal with energy and environmental issues. The challenge is that we must identify in a timely fashion new opportunities arising where developments in traditional science and engineering disciplines are converged, and that we must be able to turn those opportunities into reality.
The mission of the Program in Nano Science and Technology at Seoul National University is to produce engineers and scientists who possess a solid understanding of the principles of nanoscience, and are capable of making real-world impact by overcoming the challenge mentioned above. The department offers interdisciplinary teaching and research at master’s and Ph.D. levels in the following three interconnected areas: (1) Nanophysics and nanodevices, (2) Nanomaterials and nanochemistry, and (3) Nanobiological science.